What is MAC Address: Explanation

Feb 07, 2017 | 3:09 pm

Published by | Chandan Singh

In a LAN (Local Area Network) or another network, the Media Access Control (MAC) address is your computer’s unique hardware number. A MAC address is a unique identifier for network interfaces. The MAC address is the 12-bit hexadecimal number(48-bit number). It is written in the following format.

  • MM:MM:MM:MM:SS:SS:SS:SS
  • MM-MM-MM-MM-SS-SS-SS-SS
The first half of the MAC (24 bit) contains the ID number of adapter Manufacturer.
The second half (24 MORE BITS) of a MAC address represents the serial number assigned to the adapter by the manufacturer. An Organizationally Unique Identifier (OUI) is a 24-bit number that uniquely identifies a vendor or manufacturer.
How to Find Your System MAC Address
Windows Vista, Windows 7:
  • Click the Start button.
  • In the Run text box, type cmd.  This will open the command window.
  • At the command prompt, type

ipconfig /all.

Linux/Unix:

Finding the MAC address varies across the different Linux/Unix operating systems.

ifconfig -a

Macintosh OS 10.4 and higher:

  1. From the Apple icon in the upper left-hand corner of the desktop, select System Preferences.
  2. From the Internet & Wireless section, select Network.
  3. From the AirPort menu, click Advanced.
  4. At the bottom of the AirPort tab, the MAC address is listed as AirPort ID.

Note: If this does not work, please refer to the instruction manuals available for your particular operating system.

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